Could Texting Messages To a Patient be Considered as Hipaa Violent?

“Whatever I see or hear in the lives of my patients, whether in connection with my professional practice or not, which ought not to be spoken of outside, I will keep secret, as considering all such things to be private.” — The Hippocratic Oath, translated by Michael North (2002)

The Hippocratic oath that doctors take means that they have vowed to a number of different deities that they will protect their patients and provide them the best possible medical care they can give them. By taking the Hippocratic oath, doctors also swear not to divulge any private information of their patients to others. If everyone stuck by this oath, there would be very few HIPAA violations. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. With communication between doctors and their patients being done through a myriad of channels, it isn’t uncommon to think about any of these breaching HIPAA compliance. Is it possible that checking in with your doctor for an appointment schedule is something to be worried about? Here’s a link to learn more about that:

Prevalence of Texting

Texting has become one of the quickest and most efficient ways to communicate. According to Text Marketing Statistics “Daily Mobile phone activity is dominated by messaging above other apps and activities.” It isn’t a question about your patients not being able to get your text or you not getting theirs. Texting has become an option for health care providers, doctors, and medical staff simply because it provides many great benefits.

Benefits of Texting

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is advised that individuals are to stay at home so as to contain the spread of the virus as well as to keep themselves safe. Now more than ever are people wary about their health. Having the need to see your doctor for any old reason may now seem like a daunting task. With the option to text your doctor in between appointments you can get their opinion on whether or not you will need to see them for an in-person appointment. Should you need to make an appointment, texting will allow you to communicate with your doctor or their staff easier regarding the schedule. Should you need to suddenly reschedule, letting them know will just be a matter of seconds with a text. If you are able to make it, your doctor can let you know exactly what time they will be able to accommodate you, allowing you to make the most out of your own time to gauge how long your travel will be and not subjecting you to leaving too early only to sit in a waiting room until it is your turn. Texting also has the added benefit of allowing your doctor and their staff to get into contact with you for reminders about medication, exercises, diets, etc. so you don’t forget. In the case that you do, it allows them to re-engage you when you would have possibly done otherwise.

With all of these benefits, it is a wonder why texting can be considered a HIPAA violation. Well not all texts and texting applications are created the same. Oftentime when we think of texts, what comes to mind may be the default texting application installed on our phones. If not those then instant messaging applications like Telegram, WhatsApp, etc. are commonly used as well. Unfortunately all of these fall under the category of “unsecure communication channels.” This is because they don’t meet the “Minimum Necessary Standard.” This standard is defined by the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Texting as a HIPAA Violation

The requirements are as follows:

  • Those with authorization to communicate PHI must authenticate their identities with a unique username and PIN.
  • A system must be implemented to monitor the activity of text messages containing PHI and ensure message accountability.
  • Data transmitted beyond an organization’s internal firewall must be encrypted so that it is undecipherable if intercepted in transit.

Common messaging applications mentioned earlier don’t have these features, allowing just about anyone to get into your messages and access your PHI should they gain access to your mobile phone. “Without these minimum standards in place, texting is in violation of HIPAA whenever a text is sent containing PHI.” This could be a challenge as personal mobile phones or smartphones are becoming the norm in many medical practices.

HIPAA Violations

Sometimes it may seem like HIPAA violations aren’t all that much of a big deal. Sometimes they almost seem a little silly when anecdotes about Walgreen’s pharmacists and their husbands’ exes are the talk of the town. But there is a real severity that comes with these violations that don’t immediately click. In the case of this HIPAA violation, it was pointed out by the victim’s legal counsel that it may feel stigmatising to have your personal health information out in the open. Medical conditions may be something you want to keep to yourself until you are more comfortable to speak up about them. But in this case, it may feel so uncomfortable that a patient may even stop seeking out treatment and may cause their ailment or affliction to get worse. On the other hand, common HIPAA violations come in the form of phishing and data breaches of hospital records. This allows hackers to get crucial personal information that may be used for a variety of nefarious activity.

With all of this in mind, it may seem daunting or questionable to have texting as an option for communication between patients and their doctors. Well this doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of options not for HIPAA compliant communications which ensures that your PHI is protected while also providing you the benefits of regular texting. Remember that these channels were made to better service patients and not to put them at any risk. These risks aren’t just about their physical or mental health but the security of your information as well. Take a moment to go over the 5 HIPAA rules regarding texts and reach out to your doctor or healthcare provider to find out how you can get involved in HIPAA compliant communication with them now!

How to Get Tested for Coronavirus?

If everyone were allowed to test, there would be no tests. Scientists around the world are currently working harder than ever to perform enough tests on the coronavirus.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused increased production of tests that are the only way for patients to find out if they are infected.

However, as you have noticed, no country allows anyone to be tested, and it is exact in determining who will be tested and who will not.

Who doesn’t need testing?

For those who have no symptoms of the virus, i.e., fever, cough, and shortness of breath should call a doctor. Even if they have returned from a destination where the coronavirus is present or in contact with the infected person, they show no symptoms. Mandatory self-isolation is then recommended as a significant prevention measure that is more important than the test itself.

If, however, you are symptomatic and you are under the age of 70, you may not even get the chance to get tested right away, but the test itself will not change the fact that doctors will take care of you.

Doctors said their advice to young, healthy people with fever and coughing would be the same no matter what causes them – they will send you home in self-isolation, recommend plenty of fluids. You will only receive hospital care if you develop shortness of breath.

After recovery, you will also stay away from other people whether the disease is due to a virus corona or someone else.

Who needs testing?

Anyone who has symptoms after having been in close contact with someone positive for the coronavirus should get tested.

Anyone who has the symptoms of a virus corona and should be hospitalized must take the test. However, everyone hopes that these categories will change as well when we have more tests available.

But it’s not just about the availability of tests.

Doctors and nurses need to have personal protective equipment to perform the test, and since these are lacking everywhere in the world, doctors want to preserve it for those who need testing more.

According to current estimates, staying alone in a risk area is not sufficient to justify the test. And not everyone with a runny nose or cough is infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

However, those who have signs of viral pneumonia, which have noticeable symptoms such as coughing, fever, and shortness of breath, or who have had contact with an infected person should contact the hospital or local ambulance. People who have been in a particularly affected area are cases that are reasonably suspected that they were infected with a new virus.

Finally, the doctor decides whether a test for the coronavirus is done.

Finally, if everyone got the test, it would overload the system. Once done, the analysis is carried to the laboratory. The more criteria, the more people have to do them. And then someone has to call patients and report the results, which involves a large number of people who currently have to be available for other essential things.

Recovering From Surgery Tips

If you have a planned surgery ahead and you want to inform yourself about all the ways to make your recovery faster, keep in mind that you can do that in numerous ways. Just make sure you consult with your doctor about everything to be certain that you won’t do some harm to your health. If you ask your doctor about the accessories that you can use after the surgery, or about the food you should consume, you can be sure that you will get the best advice from the person who knows your health condition and has an enormous experience with the patients who have been through the same thing you will go through in a while.

Follow up all the appointments

This may seem unnecessary to say, but some patients simply don’t want to come back to the hospital after the surgery. According to Dr Kien Ha, this is absolutely necessary because doctors need to follow the progress you’re making after the surgery is done and to perform all the examinations so there are absolutely sure that your healing nicely. If you can’t memorize all the appointments, then make sure you create reminders on your smartphone, so there is no way that you will forget any of them.

Keep the hygiene on the highest level

Your doctor may suggest that you wait for a little while before taking a bath if the incision is in some sensitive place, so you have to make sure you follow that advice. However, that’s doesn’t mean that you should forget about your hygiene altogether. Keep in mind that you must wash your hands frequently and at least have a sponge bath if you’re not able to have a regular one. Ask for help, if you can’t do it on your own, but don’t forget that skipping on your regular hygiene may result in an infection, which is certainly something you don’t want during your recovery process.

If you’re having trouble standing or going to the bathroom, then you can try one of the many commode chairs that exist on the market. Check here for more information about the available models. Commode chairs are quite useful when you’re not able to use the toilet easily or walk because they can be adjusted in many ways to suit every user. It is certainly something to look into because it will make your recovery much easier.

Keep an eye on your incision

This may be hard for you at first, but it is a necessary part of your recovery process. No one knows your body better than you do, so you can notice any sign that will be a red flag to your doctors. If there is some redness around your incision, or if you notice wound drainage, you need to contact your doctor immediately because this is the sign of an infection. In case of an infection, you need to have proper treatment. That is usually an antibiotic that will prevent further progress of the infection and proper healing.

Have a good diet

A proper diet is crucial that all times, but particularly after surgery. Many people simply don’t have the desire to eat after the surgery and that is understandable. However, in order to help your body heal, you need a lot of nutrients so you can recover faster. Of course, you need to strictly follow a diet that your doctor prescribed, but if he agrees, make sure you include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet, and consume plenty of liquids, so you prevent feeling nauseated after the anesthesia, but also to prevent constipation which can contribute to your overall tiredness. Think about the food as a fuel, so make sure you give your body something to process and take strength from.

Move carefully

Depending on the place you have your incision on, you will have to adjust the way you move during the day. This may be very uncomfortable and unusual, but surgery is something that should be taken seriously. Simply protect your body as much as possible, so forget about carrying anything, let yourself rest and recover properly. Don’t forget that coughing and sneezing hard can put enormous pressure on your incision, so make sure you do it gently as much as possible. Place a hand over your incision slightly to protect it from opening up, because if you do it violently, it may jeopardize it.

Inform yourself about the pain medication

Every surgery is different, so it’s may cause you to feel pain to a certain extent. However, it is very important to ask your doctor about the medications you’re allowed to take, as well as the dosage that is recommended. The first few days after the surgery, the pain might be on a higher level, so you may take the pain medications more frequently, however, don’t take the pain meds every time you feel even slight pain. Being hydrated will certainly help you heal faster, so you can move more, which altogether speeds up the healing process. Also, you shouldn’t wait too long to take the medication when you notice that the pain is too strong for you to handle. Keeping the balance is the key to a good recovery process.

It is important to feel comfortable in your bed until you feel strong enough to get up and take a walk. This is why it is essential to have newspapers, books, your laptop or TV, iPod and everything else that might help you spend the quality time in bed as much as possible. Don’t let this time be the time of boredom, because it can also be the chance for you to read all the books that you didn’t have the chance to read because of the constant obligations that you have on a daily basis. Take it as an opportunity to grow as a human being and realize that you need care inside and outside. Prepare all the pillows you need to be as comfortable as possible.

Steps to Take After Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents fall under personal injury. It is a type of liability wherein the injured person has the right to seek compensation for his injuries sustained from slipping and falling on the property of another person. Knowing what steps to take right after the slip and fall can help increase your chances of obtaining a favorable result for your claim.

Report the Accident

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It is important for you to report the event to whoever owns the property or is in charge of the premises where the injury occurred. If the injury occurred in a commercial property, you should report the event to whoever is in charge. Always report it to the person with the highest rank. If it occurred on public property, you can report it to the town or city hall.

Reporting the accident at once can help you establish the legitimacy of your claim. This is especially true if no one witnessed the event. Insurers can always claim that you sustained your injuries from another location and not from the place cited in your claim.

Make an Accurate Documentation of the Accident

Some slip and fall accidents may not allow you to gather as much information as you want. You can use your smartphone’s camera to take pictures of the scene. Take pictures of your injuries as well. If your injuries prevent you from taking pictures, you can have someone else take images of the scene. You can also take a video recording of the event scene.

According to the lawyers at, it is critical to make accurate documentation of slip and fall accidents. This is especially true if you slipped and fell on ice. Ice can melt in an instant or people can clear it out. You may no longer have the evidence you need to support your claim.

Get the contact information of any witness to the accident. This will help you in your slip and fall case.

Attend to Your Injuries

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You should seek medical treatment for your injuries. This will also serve as one of the pieces of evidence that you will need to build and support your case. A doctor can help document your injuries, including the various treatments that you will undergo. Make sure to keep all assessment findings, laboratory and diagnostic results, and your plan of care. 

Call a Personal Injury Lawyer

Make sure to call an attorney who specializes in slip and fall accidents. There is a good chance that an insurance adjuster will get in touch with you to get your version of the event. Under no circumstance should you communicate with the other person’s insurer? Let your attorney be the one to communicate your concerns. Insurers often undermine the validity of your claim. Personal injury lawyers know these tactics and know-how to counter them.

It is best to adhere to these steps if you want just compensation for your injuries in a case of accident like that. Gathering as much evidence as possible and employing the services of a personal injury lawyer can help you achieve a favorable outcome for your claim.

What is Health Care Fraud and How to Deal With It

One of the things you may get yourself into is health care fraud. You may not know it right away, but it’s essential to be keen. Hence, you must know what it is and its form so you won’t be fooled into it. 

What is Health Care Fraud?

As said by the FBI, health care fraud is the act of deceiving private or government healthcare programs. These actions usually defraud health care providers, companies, or individuals. 

Health care fraud occurs when a provider or a consumer purposely presents or persuades someone else to file fraudulent or misleading information utilized in determining the amount of health care benefits payable. It is a white-collar crime that comes in the form of filing of deceptive health care claims to make a profit. 

Commonly, health care frauds may come in the form of:

  1. Fraudulent insurance cards offer
  2. Bogus health insurance marketplace assistance
  3. Stolen health information, medications, supplements, weight loss products, or pill mill practices.

Categories of Health Care Fraud

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There are two categorizations of health care fraud: the provider health care fraud, and consumer health care fraud

Examples of provider health care fraud include:

  • If the health care provider billed you for unperformed services.
  • If a medical practitioner falsifies a patient’s diagnostic results, or do such acts to prove tests for surgeries or other procedures even if it’s not needed in the medical aspect.
  • If they falsified procedures that they performed to get payment for the services that are not performed.
  • Upcoding – They billed you for a more expensive service than what they performed.
  • Unbundling – They charged you for every stage of a procedure, even if it’s not supposed to be a separate procedure.
  • If the practitioner takes bribes for patient referrals.
  • Rejecting patient co-pays or deductibles and billing the insurance carrier extensively.
  • Charging the patient more than the co-pay amount even if the benefit plan through a managed care contract already settled the bills in prepaid or in full.

Meanwhile, examples of consumer health care fraud include:

  • A person files for claims for unreceived services or medications. 
  • A patient is falsifying or modifying bills or receipts.
  • A person is asking someone’s coverage or insurance card for personal use.

How to Avoid Health Care Fraud

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Anyone can fall victim to healthcare fraud, but you can take certain precautions:

  • Do not sign unfilled insurance claim forms.
  • Never issue your medical provider a blanket authorization to charge for services rendered. (Blanket authorization is a formal, written consent endorsed to an individual to carry on with activity that doesn’t need additional approval.)
  • Be informed of the expected charges from your medical providers.
  • Get acquainted with your insurer and provider and try to understand the benefits statement.
  • Never engage with door-to-door or telephone salespeople who promise free medical services or equipment.
  • The only people whom you can entrust your insurance/medicare identification are the practitioners who already provided you with medical services.
  • Have a detailed record of all your health care appointments.
  • Be knowledgeable when your doctor ordered medical equipment for you.
  • Do not get yourself fooled by spam email, internet advertisements, links in forums or social media, and questionable websites. Before clicking on any link, be sure to watch out for these red flags

Now that you’re aware of what healthcare fraud is, the most important thing to do next is to keep constant vigilance. If you become a victim of healthcare fraud and need help, you can visit to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself. 

Do You Need An Independent Medical Exam After Your Car Accident?

If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the number of things you need to do, from contacting your insurance to follow up with medical providers. It’s a lot to handle, especially if you’ve been badly injured. Unfortunately, if you don’t take the right steps after a car accident, it can be hard to file an insurance claim or collect damages. What’s even worse, though, is that you can do everything right and still face scrutiny. That’s because, in car accident cases, victims can be required to undergo an independent medical examination (IME).

What Is An IME?

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Typically, individuals who have been injured in car accidents will call 9-1-1, head to the emergency room or urgent care, or see their personal physician about any injuries they’ve suffered. Makes sense, right? Not if you’re filing a personal injury claim in court. If you’re seeking damages, you will almost always be expected to get a second opinion from a specialist chosen by the insurance company. As almost any lawyer will tell you, this isn’t exactly independent, but courts and insurance companies want to be certain that the information presented isn’t biased by your preexisting relationship to your doctor. 

What’s Different About An IME?

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Part of pursuing an IME includes getting appropriate documentation of any injuries you’ve suffered, but what sort of documentation counts? The record trail starts with your personal physician. According to Lane & Lane, the doctor you see immediately after your accident will document all of the injuries that your accidents caused. That being said, these records aren’t terribly important because it’s the lasting injuries that really matter. Your personal health insurance will likely cover your initial injuries; it’s the lasting damages and extra expenses that will really shape your court case.

When you go to your IME appointment, it’s important to know that you’re being watched. This is a total observation, not just a medical exam, and there will be someone observing you from the moment you step out of your vehicle. The doctor will ask about your accident and perform an exam, but if they ask to do more than that, proceed with caution. You should never take any tests, from blood tests to x-rays, without your attorney’s permission.

Navigating The Process

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Many lawyers consider IMEs to be fixed; they argue that these doctors aren’t independent and are predisposed to document cases in ways that favor the insurance companies, not accident victims. This is a contentious claim, but it may contain a grain of truth. With this in mind, most lawyers recommend bringing a friend or family member with you to your appointment and have them take notes throughout the process. They can serve as a witness in the event that there’s a disagreement about your exam when you arrive in court.

Some people have also asked about recording their IME, but many doctors won’t allow you to do this, and in many states, you need the other party’s permission to record the interaction. A recent court case also held that IME observers’ notes are privileged and don’t need to be disclosed in court; they may not even be subject to subpoena. This limits the information you can present to the court and underscores the importance of bringing your own observer.

IMEs are a contentious part of the legal process, but unfortunately, they’re an integral part of recovering damages after a car accident, so the best you can do is document the process well and advocate for yourself. Your doctor may be less biased than the provider you see for your IME, but unless you cooperate with the process, you’ll compromise your case and leave yourself even more vulnerable than you were before.


Fasting Can Help Fight Obesity – The Easy Way

A new study recommends that fasting for 30 days from dawn to sundown can help in improving the conditions related to obesity. It is Muslim’s religious obligation to fast for one complete month which is called a month of “Ramadan”. But this fact has been acknowledged universally after researching that person with can fight against lots of diseases.

Doctors all over the world are suggesting people to fast other than this month too as it improves a person’s gut health and strengthens circadian rhythms in the liver and skeletal muscles. It is not a good habit to not eat food and thinking we are on a diet. Rather you need to check the timings of in taking food. Eating all the time and consuming lots of calories can result in producing more fats in the body and the person cannot work properly.


Fasting is the best way to adopt eating in order to stay strong and healthy. The researchers are of the view that practicing fasting throughout the month can have positive effects on a person as it raises the level of proteins in the body which resists insulin and other glucose levels. If the glucose level rises, blood cells cannot absorb and use blood sugar for energy.  As a result, the person faces a disease called diabetes. Therefore, fasting is the best to control the sugar level in the body and improves metabolic processes in the body.

Timing and Duration between the Meals; A Solution

The research has shown the significant differences, the people with fasting 12 to 15 hours and without fasting. The samples show that during fasting, a protein called tropomyosin (TPM) 1, 3 & 4 is produced which is good for healthy heart and muscles to contract and relax easily. TPM is good for the health of cells and helps in insulin resistance and repairs the damage caused to body and cells. It also maintains body weight without exercising and following the diet plans. People tend to join gyms and taking medical help in order to lose weight which is not the natural way and after some period of time, if they will be able to make time for the gym, chances of weight gain is more than expected. So, one must be aware of the timings and duration between the meals. World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 650 million people around the world are affected by obesity and people are stressed to control their weight. Fasting is the natural way to control weight and living a healthy life as it is medically approved too.


As the research is just on the initial stages and suggests the fact that fasting from dawn to sunset is the best way to maximize the benefits of health with minimizing cost. Also, it is best for an obese person struggling with obesity to control the weight under controlled and natural conditions instead of wasting money on different products and still not able to get the desired results! If you are looking for more information about fasting and healthy diets, click here

Can AI replace doctors?

Today, we can see the functions done by machines that were previously performed by people. The examples are vast from being able to order food from an iPad to driverless auto travel, all of these actions can now be done by using AI. However, will artificial intelligence make its way to the medical areas? The question is not will they replace doctors, but the question is how deeply AI will invade the medical fields. Of course, computers will not be able to perform traditional tasks, such as an abdomen or throat exam, but they can listen to heart sounds with greater accuracy than a doctor with a stethoscope could. Also, as most practicing doctors know, the physical exam is not as useful as the patient’s medical history. Most doctors will come to a conclusion after carefully listening to the patient’s story and their medical history.

Sophisticated computer algorithms can produce a person’s medical data and create specific diagnoses, many of which might not be considered by a human doctor. Companies like DoctorSpring provide people with quick, detailed medical advice and answers from online, expert doctors. When using this, you will be able to get professional help, diagnosis, and treatment plans, as well as free follow-ups, second-opinions and consultations.

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Although AI systems are not a real doctor, it offers a powerful tool for the medical profession. For example, doctors in primary care manage 1500 to 2000 patients, AI presents a big opportunity. If hospitals had AI in the exam rooms, it opens up a chance to improve medicine. It could let doctors know their patients better, learn how a disease affects them, and give the doctors time to coach their patients toward a good outcome.

How does AI work?

AI gives technology the capacity to learn, reason, and apply logic. Scientists, clinicians, mathematicians, doctors, and engineers all work together to input data and develop machine-learning research. AI could offer to save and reliable information when it comes to medical diagnosis and treatments by using huge amounts of data that is relevant.

AI could reduce the mortality rate. Medical science is viewed through disease and prevention, accurate treatments, learning about the patient’s past and by evaluating outcomes. Introducing systems that can access AI could help reduce death rates by prioritizing those in urgent need. It can also help by recommending treatments.

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AI gives fast and accurate diagnostics. These systems could help by giving advice to people on whether they need medical help or can successfully treat their illness at home. In 2016, IBM’S Watson computer was used to diagnose and within several minutes, a patient who was fighting leukemia was diagnosed with it by the computer. At that time, it did a cross-referencing of over 20 million oncology records.

AI is costly to implement, but once put in place, it can undertake a vast sector of tasks. It will help with movement assistance as well. As the medical institutions struggle to meet the patients’ needs. Hospitals are showing increasing interests in AI systems to help with labor-intensive but tasks that are needed.


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Even though AI systems will not entirely replace doctors, they will be able to help with a wide range of tasks in order to improve the overall medical field.